Today, after a slow stroll with my two old dogs, my wife and I took a vigorous thirty minute walk. It’s the minimum recommended daily exercise. It was a beautiful day; it felt good to be outdoors in the sunshine. This afternoon I went through all of my bokken kihon [basics] and kata [forms] in the backyard in order to have some more exercise.

The kata, of course, are more than just physical movements for health. They also contain most of the principles of Aikido training: posture, breathing, focus, extension, power without tension, etc. Moreover, they contain the paradox of all repeated training: form drills can lead to readiness and spontaneity.

From Kong Fuzi to Laozi.

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